Is my Employer Liable for Racial Remarks of a Customer?
Whether or not an employer is liable for racial remarks made by a customer can depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the remarks, the employer’s policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and discrimination, and the steps taken by the employer to address the situation.
Under most anti-discrimination laws, employers have a legal obligation to maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination, including harassment or discrimination by customers or clients. This means that employers may be held liable for the actions of a customer if they knew or should have known about the harassment or discrimination and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent or address it.
If a customer makes racially charged remarks in the presence of an employee, the employer should take steps to address the situation, such as telling the customer that such behavior is not acceptable, and offering to help them if needed. The employer should also provide support to the employee who was subjected to the harassment, such as counseling or time off if needed.
If the employer does not take appropriate steps to address the situation, the employee may have a legal claim against the employer for allowing a hostile work environment to exist. However, each situation is unique, and the employer’s liability will depend on the specific facts of the case. If you have experienced racial remarks or other forms of discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to speak to a supervisor, HR representative, or an employment lawyer.